Fun Things To Do In California

While I love Virginia and all the East Coast has to offer, there’s no place quite like California.  Whether you’re visiting or live here in the great state of California, you’re sure to find an abundance of vacation spots and fun activities to occupy yourself and your family.

To help others find some of the wonders California has to offer, I compiled a list below of fun things to do while in California. Many of the activities below are FREE, while the rest are relatively inexpensive.

 

Go To The Beach

One of my favorite things about California is that there is such a large coastal line.  From pretty much any area of the state, you can reach a beach in less than a couple hours. My family and I love spending time at the beach because the boys can go crazy playing in the water and sand while I get the opportunity to lay in the sun and SHOP.

 

Visit a National Park

Some of the most beautiful and natural sights can be seen in national parks and California’s are no different. Places like Yosemite and Sequioa National Parks boast a wide variety of activities for the whole family that are sure excite the senses without costing and arm and a leg. There are dozens of smaller parks scattered throughout the state that showcase some amazing landmarks and are home to some pretty unique animals.

 

Go Skiing/Snowboarding

While I’ve never been much of a “snow bunny”, my family and I made our way to the snow covered mountains of Virginia a few times during my childhood. If you’re looking for a great place to ski or play in the snow, California offers some of the best spots to do so! Northern California is famous for it’s immaculate snowy slopes and beautiful ski resorts.

 

Play Bingo

Some of the funnest times I’ve had with my Mom and God-Momma were had in a Bingo hall. My God-Mother has always had extremely good luck when it came to winning stuff so it was fun for my Mom and I try and guess how long it would take before she’d win something.

 

This same joy can be had with your friends and family all across California. There are bingo halls everywhere and it’s usually relatively inexpensive to join in on a few games. Most are also child friendly so you can take the whole family and spend the afternoon chatting, hanging-out, and trying to win a little bit of money! You can also play Bingo rain or shine so this makes a great activity for those rare days when the California weather isn’t cooperating.

To find a Bingo spot near you, check out OnlineBingo.com’s list [view list] of bingo halls in California!

 

Amusement Parks!!

Now this is probably the most expensive thing on my list of fun things to do in California, but given there are so many awesome amusement parks in California, I couldn’t possibly leave it off! Whether it’s Knott’s Berry Farm, Legoland, Sea World, or Disneyland, you’re almost guaranteed a good time when you visit an amusement park with you family. The only downside to this option is you have to pay admission for each family member – often a hefty fee – and usually a couple refreshments and souvenirs. If it’s in the budget, though, I highly recommend visiting an amusement park while in California. Sometimes you can find good deals on tickets that allow you to visit more than one park over a few days.

 

Whatever your budget, California has some amazing entertainment activities. From skiing down a snowy mountain in Northern California, or laying out on the beach for a tan in Southern California, there’s no better state to find a vacation spot to please the entire family.

Gabrielle

For more information on all things bingo related, make sure you LIKE OnlineBingo.com’s Facebook page and follow OnlineBingo.com on Google+!

Don’t Forget To Get Caught Reading This Month!

Do you read to your little one every day?  Ever since he was born, I’ve tried to read to Little Man every day, at least once.  While I won’t lie and say I’ve never missed a day here or there, I’ve come to realize that not only is he showing more of an interest in reading himself, but a story before bedtime really does help him relax and get in the sleeping mood.

If you didn’t know, May is Get Caught Reading Month and thanks to Dinosaur Train and Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing, I’ve caught Little Man reading quite a few times this month. His favorite book to read recently has been Guess Who, Buddy! featuring his favorite characters from Dinosaur Train. In this colorful and sturdy book, Buddy gives clues to which lovable character he’s talking about and kids try to guess who Buddy is talking about.  At the end of the book is a really cute pop-up that Little Man loves.  It also does a recap of the book which really helps him and other toddlers retain the information they just read.

Now Little Man hasn’t begun to read on his own yet – he’s trying very hard – but it’s fun to watch him tell his own version of the story as he flips through to all the colorful pages and turns over each flap revealing which dinosaur Buddy is describing.  I know it’s good practice for him and definitely encourages him to practice his letter sounds more so he can read the book on his own.

So grab a book and get caught reading this month! Guess Who, Buddy! is available for $10.99 and designed for children ages 2 and up.  The pages are made from sturdy board and designed to withstand little hands that might otherwise rip paper pages.  It would make a great gift or even just as an addition to your own personal library.

For more information on Guess Who, Buddy! and other great books from Dinosaur Train and Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing, make sure you’re following The Jim Henson Company and PBS Kids!

The Jim Henson Company
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PBS Kids
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Gabrielle

Please note that I did not received any type of monetary compensation for this review.  I was provided a free sample to ensure an accurate and honest review, but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Cilantro Lime Butter Recipe For Corn & Other Vegetables

If there’s one vegetable that’s sure to get my family to clean their plates it’s corn.  Whether it’s steamed, grilled, boiled, or baked, nothing gets my boys to run to the dinner table quicker than corn-on-the-cob. Luckily, corn is available year-round and can be incorporated into all types of meals.

With summer in full swing and the sun staying out longer and longer every day, I’m happy to see that corn is making a comeback and showing up by the bushel-full in stores and markets everywhere. The health benefits of corn make it a wonderful side-dish for any meal. Sweet corn is my favorite and luckily, you can usually find them for around 4/$1.

After throwing some carne asada meat and corn ears on the grill this weekend, I decided to whip up some cilantro lime butter to smother on the corn after it was done.  It’s unbelievably simple to make and OH  MY GOODNESS delicious!!  Daddy has since become obsessed with the butter and keeps asking me to add it to all the vegetables I serve.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp grated lime peel
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • optional: 1/2 – 1 tsp hot pepper sauce {I chose not to use this part of the original recipe}

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in food processor or standing mixer until thoroughly combined.

Yeah, it’s that easy!

For the corn, I left the husks on and just threw them on the grill for 20-minutes.  Then I covered them in the cilantro lime butter and chowed down.  You could also wrap the  husked corn with aluminum foil with a few dollops of the butter and throw it on the grill for 20-minutes.

Don’t have a grill? Just boil the corn cobs for 15-20 minutes and then smother them in the cilantro lime butter! They’ll still taste great!

I can’t even describe how delicious this recipe is!  Daddy wouldn’t even let the corn cool down before eating it because it was so yummy. It goes well with every vegetable and really adds a savory flavor to everything.  Daddy and I are cilantro lovers and could eat this cilantro lime butter with every meal!

For this recipe and other delicious ways to incorporate more corn into your family’s diet, check out www.sunshinesweetcorn.com!

Gabrielle

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Sunshine Sweet Corn. I was reimbursed to purchase Sweet Corn and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

 

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Printable Starkist Tuna Coupon Available Today {12pm EST}

Make sure you head over to the Starkist Facebook fan page today at 12pm EST to snag your free printable coupon good for $0.75/2 Starkist tuna pouches!

If you’re a tuna lover like myself, you’ll want to make sure you print off two!  There’s sure to be a sale in the near future so hold onto them to score some cheap tuna! =)

Gabrielle

FREE Target Summer Beauty Bag

Hurry over to the Target Style Facebook fan page for your FREE Target Summer Beauty Bag!  I love snagging these freebies because the beauty bag comes packed with samples and coupons.  Plus, the beauty bag comes in really handy!  I have a pink one I keep in my purse with all of my feminine products in it.

Just a FYI:  The site is being slammed with requests so keep trying… I had to keep refreshing before it finally went through and I was able to fill-out my information.

Gabrielle

 

Dad Bloggers are from Earth, Mom Bloggers are from Pluto

With blogging being all the craze right now, there are now both mom bloggers and dad bloggers. However, it seems most of the dad bloggers are much more conventional. They’re very mainstream. I won’t say that they’re boring, but they do stick to a mainstream theme of ideas and topics. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but it definitely differs from us mom bloggers.

Mom bloggers tend to think outside of the box. While we have the ability to be conventional, we also tend to fall a little off our rocker at times. I think this makes our blog posts fun and exciting. Sure we can post mainstream stuff too, but you better believe we will post about the horrific tantrum our child threw at Walmart because we wouldn’t buy them that toy they had to have. We post the good and the bad. We post on topic with our niche and from niches from all around. We write on a wide variety of topics bringing in readers from everywhere. We’re spunky, unconventional, and a lot of fun.

The thing about mom bloggers is we aren’t afraid to show our personality. In fact, we love letting our personality shine through our blog posts. That’s what makes us who we are. We want to connect with our readers, so we make sure our readers can get a feel for who we are.The great thing about mom bloggers is many of the mom bloggers post on a lot of the same topics, but they’re all different because of their opinions and personalities. So, while you might be reading the same topic on five different blogs it’s different because of the writer behind each one.

Dad bloggers almost limit themselves it seems because they’re afraid of stepping outside of their comfort zone. Come on dad bloggers! Put yourself out there and get creative. Don’t be afraid of what people are going to think. Being different is what makes you who you are.

When you go around reading blogs, can you see a significant difference between mom bloggers and dad bloggers? Do you think dad bloggers should be more like mom bloggers or vice versa? How so and why?

This guest post was written by Nikki-Laine from DedicatedMama.com

 

Homemade Bubble Solution

The next time your little ones are in the mood to play with bubbles {When AREN’T they?} and you don’t have any bubble solution on hand, hit your kitchen cabinets and whip up this homemade bubble solution! You only need 3 ingredients:

  • 2-cups water
  • 1/2 cup dish soap
  • 4 tablespoons corn syrup

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl {I used a Pyrex measuring cup so I could easily pour it into Little Man’s bubble wand} and you’re good to go!  Either use the bubble solution to refill an empty store-bought bubble bottle with wand, or make your own wand and dip it right into the solution.

Little Man had a blast this morning going through almost 2-cups of bubble solution.  He blew bubbles for hours and I still have plenty of bubble solution left to fill his wand container 3 or 4 more times!

So the next time you find yourself in need of some wholesome bubble blowing time, whip up this quick and easy bubble solution recipe for your little ones!  This recipe makes about 3-cups of bubble solution and can be stored for later use in a jar with a lid.

If you like this craft, make sure you pin it on Pinterest!  You can use the handy button below :)

Gabrielle

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Gift Ideas For The Dad Who Has It All

With Father’s Day rapidly approaching, I’ve begun the daunting task of hunting down the perfect gift for one of the hardest people to shop for – Dad.  Women are pretty easy to buy gifts for since they’re content with jewelry or beauty supplies and kids usually have no problem writing out an extensive list of toys and games they want, but Dads always throw me off.  Daddy, for instance, usually buys tools and things he wants as he needs them, so buying gifts for him is always a challenge.

This year, I’m determined to get Daddy something he doesn’t necessarily know he needs.  At the top of my list is a new watch.  Daddy is always looking for his phone to see what time it is or to use it as a stop-watch, so I think a wrist watch is a gift I think he’d love to receive for Father’s Day.  It’s practical, something he’d actually use, and a gift I’m sure he’ll use on a daily basis.

If you’re looking for a great Father’s Day gift this year, maybe your Dad would love a new watch, too!  The place I’ve been scouring recently is ShopNBC.  They’ve got some really good deals on men’s watches going right now, some of which I think would be perfect for my husband on Father’s Day.  I’m looking to get him a watch that is not only stylish {otherwise he won’t wear it}, but durable.  Daddy works in construction and any watch I get him for Father’s Day is definitely going to need to be able to withstand the constant bumps and bangs its sure to endure while on Daddy’s wrist. This perfect watch can’t be too bulky, either, or it will weigh down his arm and he won’t wear it.

Some other ideas I’ve thought of that might be great for Dad on Father’s Day are:

  • Music – Daddy loves music and adding some more MP3′s to his iPod will surely put a smile on his face during his long commute to work.
  • Movies – While my husband rarely watches movies, he has a few that he absolutely loves and grabbing them on Blu-ray would make great Father’s Day gifts!
  • Lawn Tools – Now that we have a big yard again, my husband loves spending time out in it on the weekends.  Maybe a new lawn mower or weed eater would make his job of lawn maintenance a little easier and allow him to enjoy the yard he already loves even more.

Do you know what you’ll be getting your Father {or husband} this Father’s Day? 

Gabrielle

Coupons.Answers.com: The Best Online Coupon Codes Database

Are you a coupon junkie like myself?  Do you clip every coupon you find and scour the internet for coupon codes before making a purchase?  Then you need to check out Coupons.Answers.com!

Coupons.Answers.com is an awesome coupon code site that compiles all available and valid coupon codes on the internet and puts them in one convenient spot.  From free shipping to percentages off your total order, Coupons.Answers.com has a variety of coupon codes for almost every store.

Looking for Macy’s coupon codes?  They have them!

Need a little discount on electronics from Best Buy? Yep, they have discount codes for there, too!

Like I said, Coupons.Answers.com  has discount codes for pretty much everything.  whether it’s back-to-school clothes for your kids this year, or that big screen you’ve had your eye on, checking Coupons.Answers.com before making an online purchase can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. The best part is that all of the coupon codes are neatly organized and readily available in one spot.  You don’t even have to spend a lot of time searching to find great deals on stuff you’re already going to buy!

One feature I really like about Coupons.Answers.com is that there is a store question and answer section where you can ask all your coupon related questions – like “Does Pottery Barn ship to Canada?” or “Does Advanced Auto offer discount codes for tires?”.  Members of the community offer valuable advice and answer all questions submitted.

So before you make another purchase online, check the Coupons.Answers.com database!  You can even use the handy search widget on my sidebar to help you find great deals and coupon codes fast and easy!  Just type in the store you’re looking for and bam, instant access to dozens of available coupon codes!  You’ll be surprised at everything you can find discount codes for.  From Macy’s to Kohl’s to Lowe’s, you can find awesome coupon codes at Coupons.Answers.com.

Gabrielle

Top 5 Uses For Lemons {Not Including Lemonade}

I love lemons!  I mean I really love them!  I don’t mind the sour taste and often find myself cutting lemons into quarters just to suck on the tart center.

Since our move last month, I’ve been surrounded by lemons and my neighbor, who has a huge lemon tree, has been feeding me a steady supply of lemons. With all this citrus, I’ve come up with 5 handy uses for lemons that DON’T include lemonade:

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

I’ve been making this all-purpose cleaner for a couple years now and it’s still the only cleaner I use around my house.  Made with Castile soap, baking soda, vinegar, and of course, lemons, this cleaner is safe for most surfaces {I haven’t found one yet that it’s not good for, but better safe than sorry}.  The lovely lemony scent left after cleaning will keep you wiping all the surfaces in your home!

Laundry Boost

Add about 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your whites for an even brighter white and fresher scent!

Microwave Cleaner

Cut a lemon in half and place cut-side down on a microwave safe plate.  Add about 1 Tablespoon of water to the plate and microwave for 30-45 seconds.  The steam from the water and lemon juice will help tough foods come off with ease.

Sore Throat Relief

I’ve never tried this method, but from what I understand, you cut a lemon in half and roast it over an open flame {use a skewer to hold the lemon and roast until skin becomes golden brown}.  Carefully juice the lemon, add a Tablespoon of honey.  Drink the mixture.  This is an all-natural way to relieve a sore throat and sure to be a tasty way to do so!

Decorations

Using lemons as colorful centerpieces or in vases around the home really add a splash of color to your rooms and a fresh scent to the air. This is an inexpensive way to decorate and the possibilities are endless. Whether it’s a lemon wrapped in ribbon sitting atop a small shelf in the corner or a bowl/vase full of lemons placed in the center of a table, decorating with lemons is a win-win situation no matter how you look at it.  Plus, you can beautifully display your lemons until you’re ready to use them!

Do you know any helpful uses for lemons when not squeezed into lemonade?  PLEASE SHARE!

Gabrielle

 

 

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